Meet Mitch, Investor at Folklore
Get the inside scoop on the team helping build Folklore.
As Folklore continues to support the next generation of startups, we’re excited to welcome Mitchell Bissinger to the team, to find and fund founders' big ideas.
Mitch joins the investor team with 10+ years of startup operator, analyst and advisor experience. He joins Folklore from VC-backed scaleup Eucalyptus, where he managed capital allocation within the company’s operations function.
Here are a few insights from a recent conversation with Mitch.
What is your coffee order? (be honest)
"Ugh - this is where I reveal myself as a Melbourne coffee snob. So, my favourite order is an Oat Magic (the taste of a latte with the strength of a double espresso). I also rotate either an Iced Latte (+30 degree days) or a Long Mac (mainly when I’m too embarrassed to order a Magic)."
Tell us a little about your background. This can include the weird and wonderful.
"It started at a food tech startup that I joined part, then full time after I finished my degree in finance and economics. I got to be part of their journey from $0-1-10-25 mil revenue, listing on the ASX, and then eventually selling its IP, with heaps of pivots along the way.
Feeling my learning slow, I made the jump into corporate advisory, working with private Australian companies who were raising capital from the Series B to Pre IPO stage. I loved the breadth of learning and the ability to have an impact on business strategy, working directly with Founders and unencumbered by risk, governance and reporting structures that are (appropriately) in place for larger companies.
In between these roles, I was a co-founder of a food business that utilised the “dark kitchen” model before it was more commonplace, selling edible cookie dough. I am very proud of and nostalgic towards a screenshot on an old phone that said we were (at one time) the #1 selling Uber eats store in Melbourne!
I’ve spent my last two-and-a-half years working at Eucalyptus, a VC-backed healthcare scaleup. I joined because I wanted to work with talented people on a problem set that I was passionate about. Selfishly, I also wanted exposure to the inner workings of a company that was backed by well-known VC firms that would hopefully help me one day as an investor. I treasure my time at Euc, there are a lot of people there that I am very lucky to say that I got to work with. I’m excited to now cheer them on from the sidelines."
Why early stage investing and why now?
"I love the cycle of learning, and the feeling of personal growth that it provides. Investing is the perfect pursuit for the insatiably curious.
I also love building things. The feeling of fulfilment that comes from looking at something that once did not exist. I enjoy the ambiguity of having to continually reassess a hypothesis as new information crystallises.
Early stage investing is the most natural confluence of these two loves that I can think of."
What led you to Folklore?
"I was attracted to Folklore through the testimonials of Founders who have partnered with the team. I like that Folklore has a focused investment mandate, and a concentrated portfolio of investments.
I’m looking forward to working closely with Founders over extended periods of time as they build their companies."
What podcasts, books, series or videos would you recommend to someone in the startup ecosystem?
"My recommendation is not so much about what but how. Fulfilment in learning is driven by curiosity, and different topics are going to ignite different things in different people. I would encourage people to search widely - don’t just read/listen to the same things as everyone else as a checkbox exercise - and focus on finding the things that ignite something in you. It doesn’t matter what the topics are at all.
You’ll know you’ve found something when you’re thinking about it in the shower / on the commute to work / while trying to get to sleep.
I think that the practice of searching, learning, mastering, and searching again is a valuable lifelong skill as it compounds knowledge over time.
I’ve always found the power of storytelling interesting - so a personal favourite of mine is The Hero With a Thousand Faces. It’s a couple of years old now, but Adam Neumann’s first return interview after leaving WeWork is a fascinating watch too.
A good storyteller can be a force of nature."
What do you find to be unique, exciting and challenging about the ANZ startup ecosystem?
"I think that the startup ecosystem in ANZ is going through a fascinating period. On one hand, the compounding impact of the successes of Australia’s gen 1 tech companies has fostered an environment in which funding and high-quality talent has been increasingly available.
On the other hand, the increasing cost of capital globally has moved the needle from growth to efficiency. Given the relative (global) nascency of Australia’s startup environment, I think that this period will create opportunities for the agile and challenges for the inflexible."
Mitch is always open to discussing a good read, idea or trend you see emerging in the ecosystem. Connect with Mitch via LinkedIn.
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